Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Washington, D.C. – President Obama has appointed his old friend and colleague, University of Chicago Professor Cass Sunstein, to run the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. Sunstein is a rabid enemy of Americans’ Second Amendment freedom, and harbors radical ideas about animal rights that only the most ardent PeTA activist would love. Now he will run the federal office that oversees all government regulations.
The Trouble With Obama's Energy Czar
Yet another Clintonite has been wheeled out of the political morgue to serve in the Obama administration. Carol Browner, a neon-green radical who headed the Environmental Protection Agency from 1993-2000, is widely rumored to be the president-elect's choice for "energy czar."
In her first term as EPA head, a congressional subcommittee caught her using taxpayer funds to create and send out illegal lobbying material to over 100 grassroots environmental lobbying organizations. She exploited her office to orchestrate a political campaign by left-wing groups, who turned around and attacked Republican lawmakers for supporting regulatory reform.
These are the very same groups -- anti-business, anti-sound science, pro-eco-hysteria -- that Browner would be working arm in arm with as Obama's "energy czar." This is regression we can't afford.
Last week President 0bama appointed yet another “czar” with massive government power, answering only to him. Even before this latest appointment, the top-ranking Democrat in the Senate wrote President 0bama a letter saying that these czars are unconstitutional.
President 0bama’s “czar strategy” is an unprecedented power grab centralizing authority in the White House, outside congressional oversight and in violation of the Constitution....
Welcome to another rousing of edition of Venezuela redux… Headlined on Drudge this morning, ABC News finally came out of the media closet and bowed before Obama. Since it is a flash news update, here is what it said in its entirety
ABC TURNS PROGRAMMING OVER TO OBAMA; NEWS TO BE ANCHORED FROM INSIDE WHITE HOUSE
Tue Jun 16 2009 08:45:10 ET
On the night of June 24, the media and government become one, when ABC turns its programming over to President Obama and White House officials to push government run health care — a move that has ignited an ethical firestorm... [snip]
Late Monday night, Republican National Committee Chief of Staff Ken McKay fired off a complaint to the head of ABCNEWS:
Dear Mr. Westin:
As the national debate on health care reform intensifies, I am deeply concerned and disappointed with ABC’s astonishing decision to exclude opposing voices on this critical issue on June 24, 2009. Next Wednesday, ABC News will air a primetime health care reform “town hall” at the White House with President Barack Obama. In addition, according to an ABC News report, GOOD MORNING AMERICA, WORLD NEWS, NIGHTLINE and ABC’s web news “will all feature special programming on the president’s health care agenda.”
Today, the Republican National Committee requested an opportunity to add our Party’s views to those of the President’s to ensure that all sides of the health care reform debate are presented. Our request was rejected. I believe that the President should have the ability to speak directly to the America people. However, I find it outrageous that ABC would prohibit our Party’s opposing thoughts and ideas from this national debate, which affects millions of ABC viewers.
In the absence of opposition, I am concerned this event will become a glorified infomercial to promote the Democrat agenda. If that is the case, this primetime infomercial should be paid for out of the DNC coffers. President Obama does not hold a monopoly on health care reform ideas or on free airtime. The President has stated time and time again that he wants a bipartisan debate. Therefore, the Republican Party should be included in this primetime event, or the DNC should pay for your airtime.
I will say it again, uncontrolled Presidential power is inherently totalitarian in nature.
Each day we are served up a fresh intrusion of government driven by Obama:
Obama seeks to ‘give government new powers to seize key companies’
Federal Reserve to gain power under plan
Obama blocks access to visitor lists…
Is this what Americans wanted when they voted for change?
It’s beginning to feel like we have more than a little in common with the people of Iran these days. The question is, do we have the spine that they have?
image toon c-art - bddbdd 1st lbrty bbro sclm - Constitution Under New Management
WASHINGTON -- The House has narrowly approved a $106 billion bill to ensure financing for war operations in Iraq and Afghanistan over the coming months.
Passage of the bill comes over almost united opposition from Republicans, who objected to the inclusion of money in the legislation for an International Monetary Fund loan program for poor countries...
[And this is related to war funding how? Some 'change']
FNC's Catherine Herridge traveled to Bermuda to meet the four Chinese Muslim Uighurs just released from Guantanamo Bay and she elicited from them that living in China is worse than life at Guantanamo. Talking to them through an interpreter at their new home, a pink bungalow with a swimming pool, Herridge reported:
“asked which was worse: Life at Gitmo versus China?” The interpreter relayed, over the voices of all of the men talking: “Of course it's China. There's no guarantee for human rights there.”
So, there's a new angle for the media: Guantanamo as a bastion of human rights protections. Not really much of a surprise in contrast to China, but it took a FNC reporter to frame the comparison between a U.S. military-run detention center and a communist nation.
In light of some awful high-profile murders by sick individuals, the Los Angeles Times' Tim Rutten wants the Department of Homeland Security to revisit its report from earlier this year that connects potential terrorism to "right-wing extremism." And Rutten seems especially concerned about those serving in the military. From his column:
"All three of the men involved in the Oklahoma City bombing met and developed their convictions while serving in the Army. As the body count mounts, the department may want to reconsider that apology..."
Rutten appears to imply that extremist "convictions" are developed while serving in the military.
— The bodies of several foreign hostages have been found in Yemen, officials said Monday, the first time in almost a decade a kidnapping in the country has resulted in deaths.
Seven Germans, including three children and two female nurses, were abducted last week in the volatile Saada province in northern Yemen along with a male British engineer and a woman from South Korea.
The missing nine belong to an international relief group that has worked for 35 years at a hospital in Saada, which borders Saudi Arabia, an official said on Sunday.
Local sources said the group was a Christian Baptist organisation that also has a medical team in the hospital at Jebla, south of Sanaa, where an Islamist militant killed three American doctors in December 2002...
The U.S.' population--and economy--is likely to grow as the E.U.'s declines.
For decades many in the American political and policy establishment--including close supporters of President Obama--have looked enviously at the bureaucratic powerhouse of the European Union. In everything from climate change to civil liberties to land use regulation, Europe long has charmed those visionaries, particularly on the left, who wish to remake America in its image.
Although the E.U.'s current top-down bureaucratic approach is clearly losing support [see last week's election results], these recent events don't necessarily mean the E.U. is doomed. It's just that people who might be happy to accept a customs union and perhaps even a common currency are simply proving loath to hand over land use controls and environmental standards, much less foreign policy, to Brussels-based bureaucrats. At its root this move represents both a cry against control and a cry for greater autonomy.
For the Obama administration, there may be some significant lessons here. Compared with Europeans, Americans are disposed to dislike too much central control. Turning Washington into a new Brussels, with regulations to cover virtually any human activity, could backfire both on the president and his party....
[But that is the intent. Recommended > ]
The White House's decision to fire AmeriCorps inspector general Gerald Walpin came amid politically-charged tensions inside the Corporation for National and Community Service, the organization that runs AmeriCorps.
Top executives at the Corporation, Walpin explained in an hour-long interview Saturday, were unhappy with his investigation into the misuse of AmeriCorps funds by Kevin Johnson, the former NBA star who is now mayor of Sacramento, California and a prominent supporter of President Obama...
Congress ought to open an investigation, New York Times editorialists should be in a state of apoplexy, and MSNBC hosts ought to be frothing at the mouth.
Without appropriate documentation or good reason, President Obama has fired a federal investigator who was on the case against a political ally of the president's. Mr. Obama's move has the stench of scandal.
On June 11, Mr. Obama fired Gerald Walpin, inspector general for the Corporation for National and Community Service. He offered no public reason for doing so other than that he "no longer" had "the fullest confidence" in Mr. Walpin... [ snip]
"There have been no negative findings against Mr. Walpin by the Integrity Committee of the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency, and [Mr. Walpin] has identified millions of dollars in Americorps funds either wasted outright or spent in violation of established guidelines. In other words, it appears he has been doing his job. We cannot afford to have Inspector General independence threatened."
We concur. But will the Obamedia?
After being briefed today on President Obama’s firing last week of Gerald Walpin, Inspector General of the Corporation for National and Community Service,
Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., said the president did not abide by the same law that he co-sponsored – and she wrote – about firing Inspectors General...
image toon - mny auto sclm reps = Oby's ganster politics re Chrysler v UAW crpt
Henry II’s supposed lament – “who will rid me of this turbulent priest?” – led a loyal knight to bury his sword in Thomas Beckett’s head, thus conveniently removing the Archbishop of Canterbury as a thorn in the side of the English king.
A scene reminiscent of that infamous martyrdom occurred in the White House late last week, as one of President Obama’s senior aides gave the AmeriCorps inspector-general an offer he supposedly could not refuse – resign within an hour or be fired.
President Obama’s options here are circumscribed by the Inspector-Generals Reform Act of 2007, which was co-sponsored by Sen. Barack Obama. The IGs are appointed by presidents but do not serve at the Chief Executive’s pleasure as do other presidential appointees.
The AmeriCorps case illustrates why IG independence must be zealously protected. Walpin found that Johnson used AmeriCorps funds for personal and political benefit.
Fortunately, IG Gerald Walpin, refused to go quietly despite threats from the assailant, Norman Eisen, special counsel to the president for ethics and government reform. Walpin reminded Eisen that the law required a president to give Congress 30-day notice of his intent to remove an IG and a detailed justification for the removal.
This is to prevent presidential politics from interfering with the independence and integrity of IGs, whose sole job is to ferret out waste, fraud and corruption in federal spending.
Eisen was last seen defending a proposed White House rule depriving the First Amendment rights of “anyone else seeking to influence the process” of economic stimulus grant awards. The proposed rule would enable Obama and company to dole out stimulus pork behind closed doors, away from prying eyes... [snip]
The key issue now is whether Congress will permit this latest illustration of what The Examiner’s Michael Barone calls Obama’s “gangster government”...
Support for health care reform has slipped as more voters think President Obama should work harder on his promise to cut the federal deficit in half in the next four years.
Thirty-six percent (36%) of U.S. voters say cutting the deficit is the most important of the four priorities the president cited in a speech to Congress in February, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. That’s up from March.
But a growing number of voters (63%) – up from 54% in March - also see cutting the deficit in half as the goal the president is least likely to achieve...
[It's a very bad sign that American are getting used to the growing gap between what our President says vs. what he does, and we evidently don't intend to hold him accountable for essentially lying to us. ]
Washington - International purchases of American financial assets slowed in April as China, Japan and Russia pared demand for Treasuries, underscoring the danger of U.S. reliance on foreigners to finance its fiscal deficit.
Total net purchases of long-term equities, notes and bonds rose a net $11.2 billion, compared with buying of $55.4 billion in March, the Treasury said today in Washington.
[I.e., they recognize printed-funny-money when they see it.]
NEW YORK - For some, the slow, steady demise of TARP cannot happen soon enough. Last week, 10 of the nation's largest financial firms won their release from the Treasury Department's Troubled Asset Relief Program, setting the stage for them to pay back the billions of dollars the government loaned them last fall.
But this news was book-ended by legislation that aims to end the controversial program sooner rather than later...
If you owe your bank $1,000 you have a problem, but if you've borrowed $1 million it's the bank that has the problem. Going by that old maxim, then China, which has lent the United States upwards of $1.3 trillion, has a very big problem...
And it knows it. As a consequence, Beijing is diversifying its overseas investments and pressing U.S. officials for an "exit strategy" from the ultra-loose fiscal and monetary policies that China fears will eventually inflate away the value of its U.S. bond holdings and fell the dollar.
from Tuesday's inaugural BRICs summit in Russia about the need for the United States to cede power in global financial institutions should not be taken as a signal that Beijing is positioning the yuan to challenge the dollar's supremacy...
A fabulous 1934 Chicago Tribune cartoon that has recently been making the rounds in the blogosphere as an example of history sadly repeating itself was marvelously rerun at the paper's website on June 10.
In it, members of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's administration are seen shoveling money out of a wagon with a billboard on the side declaring,
"Depleting the resources of the soundest government in the world."
On Wednesday, the Trib reprinted the cartoon with the caption "This is a 1934 Chicago Tribune political cartoon that many say rings true in today's political and economic climate. What do you think?" (full, largely legible print below the fold along with an explanation of the characters uncovered by The Federal Observer...
Our politicians haven't noticed that the problem may be that the world is not warming but cooling, observes Christopher Booker.
For the second time in little over a year, it looks as though the world may be heading for a serious food crisis, thanks to our old friend "climate change". In many parts of the world recently the weather has not been too brilliant for farmers. After a fearsomely cold winter, June brought heavy snowfall across large parts of western Canada and the northern states of the American Midwest. In Manitoba last week, it was -4ºC. North Dakota had its first June snow in 60 years.
There was midsummer snow not just in Norway and the Cairngorms, but even in Saudi Arabia. At least in the southern hemisphere it is winter, but snowfalls in New Zealand and Australia have been abnormal. There have been frosts in Brazil, elsewhere in South America they have had prolonged droughts, while in China they have had to cope with abnormal rain and freak hailstorms, which in one province killed 20 people.
It is now more than 200 years since the great astronomer William Herschel observed a correlation between wheat prices and sunspots. When the latter were few in number, he noted, the climate turned colder and drier, crop yields fell and wheat prices rose. In the past two years, sunspot activity has dropped to its lowest point for a century.
One of our biggest worries is that our politicians are so fixated on the idea that CO2 is causing global warming that most of them haven't noticed that the problem may be that the world is not warming but cooling, with all the implications that has for whether we get enough to eat... [snip]
It is appropriate that another contributory factor to the world's food shortage should be the millions of acres of farmland now being switched from food crops to biofuels, to stop the world warming,
Last year even the experts of the European Commission admitted that, to meet the EU's biofuel targets, we will eventually need almost all the food-growing land in Europe. But that didn't persuade them to change their policy. They would rather we starved than did that ...
[How could they be so insane? The usual reason; money. It was never about climate.]
It’s Time to Cool the Planet
If we’re going to avoid climate disaster, we’re going to have start getting a lot more direct. We’re going to have to think about cooling the planet. The concept is called geoengineering, and in the past few years, it has gone from being dismissed as a fringe idea to the subject of intense debates in the halls of power.
[All based on the assumption that it's a) warming, and b) that the 'halls of power' know what the optimal temperature of the Earth is.
Niavegance: some proportion of naivety and arrogance.
BTW: a warmer world in better for nearly all life forms on Earth - man included.]
'Nightly News': Don't Let the Mild Weather Fool You, There's Still Global Warming
With a cooler-than-usual winter and a mild temperatures leading up to the beginning of summer, global warming alarmists are finding they are losing steam in the debate. But "NBC Nightly News" won't give up the fight.
On the June 15 broadcast, anchor Brian Williams noted the peculiar weather patterns along the East Coast.
"The weather along the eastern seaboard has been more like Scotland in October lately," Williams said. "Then came the first of the Internet stories, some of them written by learned people in the weather field, wondering if summer as we know it was just not going to happen this year in some areas..." [snip]
According to NBC chief environmental affairs correspondent Anne Thompson, the phenomena are caused by the a jet stream dropping deeper into the United States than is usual for this time of year. But Thompson reliance told viewers not to let the current weather dispel any beliefs they have in global warming, because warmer weather is on the way.
"This less-than-beach-like weather may have you wondering about global warming," Thompson said. "This cold spell is a snapshot, just a couple of weeks. Global warming is something that happens over decades and centuries. So hang in there, summer and its warmth is on the horizon."
White House Sounds Alarm On Climate Change
Harmful effects from global warming are already here and worsening, warns the first climate report from Barack Obama's presidency in the strongest language on climate change ever to come out of the White House.
Global warming has already caused more heavy downpours, rising temperature and sea level, rapidly retreating glaciers, longer growing seasons and altered river flow, according to the document released Tuesday by the White House science 'adviser' and other 'top officials'...
[Crisis upon crisis to push legislation through without reading.]
A new Montana gun law puts the state at the forefront of a national bid to restore states' rights by attacking up to a century of federal court decisions on Washington's power.
Two other states - Alaska and Texas - have had favorable votes on laws similar to Montana's, declaring that guns that stay within the state are none of the feds' business - and more than a dozen others are considering such laws...
[Can California be far behind?
The Obama infatuation is a great unreported story of our time. Has any recent president basked in so much favorable media coverage? Well, maybe John Kennedy for a moment; but no president since. On the whole, this is not healthy for America.
Our political system works best when a president faces checks on his power. But the press has so far largely abdicated its role as skeptical observer. [snip]
The study examined 1,261 stories by the Washington Post, the New York Times, ABC, CBS and NBC, Newsweek magazine and the "NewsHour" on PBS. Favorable stories (42%) were double the unfavorable (20%), while the rest were "neutral" or "mixed."
It concludes: "President Barack Obama has enjoyed substantially more positive media coverage than either Bill Clinton or George W. Bush during their first months in the White House."